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Aug 3, 2016

Despite a Hit in Burrell Boom, Residents Hesitant to Evacuate to Shelters

A News Five team is in Burrell Boom tonight where the eye of the storm is expected to pass and residents are expected to experience winds of about seventy-five miles per hour. So far, a number of residents are hesitant in leaving their homes. The chairperson of the village, Merlene Baptist-Pandy is making a desperate appeal for residents in low-lying areas to evacuate as soon as possible, but few have heeded the warning.

 

Merlene Baptist-Pandy, Chairperson, Burrell Boom Village

“From the moment we heard about the hurricane coming, I have been making several calls, I have been appealing to people, calling them on my cell but some of them won’t move. We have some families down at the catholic school and we have one family this side. Terry G said that he is going to bring some people from Lord’s Bank; I opened the shelter for them and he said he is having the same problem now in getting them out. I think people are not really taking it serious and it is very serious. We haven’t had a hurricane in years and now I think God get tired of wi now and he is giving us a warning or something and we need to take it, especially those that have kids. They need to come out; I’ve been appealing to them but they won’t move.”

 

Merlene Baptist-Pandy

Isani Cayetano

“Might it be that there may be a bit of a confusion with regards to the path of the weather system. Initially, it was projected to have been going south in a sense. The southern part of Belize City which is the south side all the way to Hope Creek and Dangriga, including Gales Point and those other areas. Now we have a reading that says it is moving north and I guess because of the lack of predictability to where the system is moving, people aren’t really moved in terms of trying to get out and find shelter or higher ground.”

 

Merlene Baptist-Pandy

“It could be that also because people is using their cell phones and looking at the weather channel and whatever—they are not really listening to the radio—so it is a bit confusing indeed. But usually here in Burrell Boom, people always wait until the appointed time, when the storm is always on them, to come and look for shelter. And there are a few people that their homes are not fit for them to stay in.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Do you have the manpower—either sufficient volunteers or other people—that would be able to go into these areas and evacuate these people when they call at the eleventh hour. Do you have the manpower to deal with that?”

 

Merlene Baptist-Pandy

“Well we have some, but honestly the ones that are volunteering, just a few have vehicles. And people won’t come out and jeopardize their lives for other people. They have been trying and if they want to stay in their homes, there is nothing else that we can do. we can only keep on appealing.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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